Suunto Vertical Review – Sports Watch Review


I’ve at all times loved reviewing Suunto’s sports activities watches. Over the years I’ve seemed on the 9 Peak and Spartan Baro HR and every time they impress me, drawing me nearer to leaping ship completely into the Suunto world. With their newest providing, the Suunto Vertical, they’ve lastly satisfied me.

Somewhere exterior of Birdsville, outback Queensland

Why selecting the best watch is vital

When you consider it, there’s one thing so completely private in regards to the watch you select to put on. It’s not like underwear, you don’t change it on daily basis; it’s extra like a automobile, your trusted GP, a financial institution or perhaps a superannuation plan. When it’s time to alter, we do our analysis, take a look at the options we wish, examine what is on the market in our value vary and lock ourselves in for the subsequent foreseeable future.

Considering worth for cash and what I’m gonna name ‘Cost Per Glance’ (CPG) a long-held watch is one thing that carries its weight.

I’ve owned two different sports activities watches in my time (a Casio ProTrek (2004-2010), Garmin Fenix 5s (2016-2023) and after sporting and testing for a month, I’m now bought on the Suunto Vertical (2023-?). It’s positively on the foremost funding finish of the spectrum at $1299AU for the top-of-the-range titanium or $999AU for the chrome steel model, so yep, I plan on sporting it for a really very long time.

Easy-to-read show when on the transfer. Federal Pass, Blue Mts

Navigation perform

Finnish model Suunto has been related to out of doors pursuits since 1936, once they began manufacturing compasses; or what I affectionately name, ‘analog GPS’. Bloody dependable issues they’re that by no means want recharging.

Their firm title comes from the Finnish phrase suunta, which means course, path, bearing or heading. 

Fun Fact

Accurate location displayed on OSM maps with contours. Federal Pass, Blue Mountains, NSW.

Now, as a lot as I really like a very good compass and practising conventional navigation, I loved the nav options on this smartwatch and located them intuitive and straightforward to make use of. 

The navigation features on this watch are wonderful and mimic most of the options you could already use in a navigation app on a smartphone.


By connecting to the Suunto app while on wifi, I used to be capable of obtain free topographical maps (Open Street Maps) for the entire of NSW and QLD. The 49mm actual property of the Sapphire crystal face actually comes into its personal when utilizing the maps. Tracks had been clearly outlined, together with contours and the straightforward 3-button interface makes it simple to maneuver round, together with the contact display. A phrase of warning right here although: don’t be in a rush to obtain the maps, like earlier than you run out the door for a visit. Even with obtain speeds from my residence NBN of 40mbps, it nonetheless took a few hours for every state.

Conway Circuit, Whitsundays, QLD

Map Display

You can select to view the map in 3 methods, I discovered the Outdoor view probably the most sensible and was one thing that I used to be visually aware of. At the beginning of every exercise, you may decide to have the map off/on in case you are desirous to preserve battery.

Navigation sorts

I examined Hiking and Trekking sport modes. Within these you may select a navigation ‘type’ (or none in any respect) from breadcrumb, POIs (Point of Interest), Routes, Bearing, Snap to route or Compass. You may direct it to a easy back-bearing, taking you again to the place you began.

Clear and crisp visible shows

Position Format

For us bushwalking/climbing/path working sorts, we will choose from the most typical codecs utilized in Australia:  UTM and MGRS. If you actually can’t pull your self away from the lat/lengthy (you wacky maritime, 4WD and aviation sorts), don’t fear, all 3 of these WGS84 codecs are in there too, together with a bunch of different worldwide ones.

Battery Life

With the Vertical sports activities watch, Suunto have actually checked out battery life. The titanium photo voltaic mannequin has included a characteristic that I really like – photo voltaic charging. One much less gadget to fret about draining my treasured energy financial institution power at camp. In the month I’ve been utilizing it, with a median of three recorded climbing actions per week (as much as approx 7 hrs every), I’ve solely recharged it twice.

The specs are fairly spectacular with Suunto stating that in time-only mode, the titanium photo voltaic model ought to final 12 months (WTF!?) on one cost and as much as 60 days for the non-solar model. That is loopy lengthy battery life; manner in entrance of its opponents.

It provides useful alerts earlier than you begin an exercise to indicate you what number of hours you may train on the present cost. You can simply change between totally different energy modes that adapt the watch’s capabilities and companies to save lots of and preserve energy. Choose from Performance (max options and battery use), to Endurance, Ultra or Tour (minimises power-hungry options and saves battery).

After some time, the Suunto Vertical will get to know you and the actions you do. Based in your historical past, it is going to advise you to alter energy modes if it thinks you’ll run low. Smart.

App and evaluation

I’ve to confess, I’m not a kind of gear reviewers who goes into minute technical testing element, that’s not the sort of individual or bushwalker I’m. If you’re after that kind of substances assessment, perhaps take a look at Ray from DCRainmaker. Given that, right here’s my abstract of the app options and evaluation screens that I do use and discover useful.

Coming again to my visible bias and focus, there’s loads I really like on this a part of the watch and the Suunto app.

Take a glance on the net interface show of day 4 of my Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. You can play the 3D video of the purple observe worm and perhaps get a bit enthusiastic about doing it your self at some point!

What I really like

Design and interface

There’s no denying I’m a visible individual. I really like good design and interesting interfaces which can be intuitive; I’d go as far as to say, humanise the binary of know-how. I imagine Suunto does this higher than another sports activities watch that I’ve examined. The menu structure, 3 button or contact display interface and colors, all conspire to make the Suunto Vertical simple to make use of straight out of the field, with out feeling like I have to learn a wordy handbook. It simply makes logical sense.

Easy display swipe interface, visually interesting and sensible user-interface


I admit that I used to be nervous about this. Having examined the Suunto Baro HR 5 years in the past, having the load of a small weapon was the one main downside, particularly for girls. With the usage of titanium on this new mannequin, they’ve cracked the code of a light-weight easy watch, full of options, strong battery life, wonderful consumer interface and (this couldn’t go with out point out) an orange band 😉

Sunrise/Sunset alarm

I really like that I can select to be woken on daily basis 15 minutes earlier than dawn (to greet the day) or 15 minutes earlier than sundown (to shut my greenhouse and shield my veggies from frost). 

Solar charging

I really like the useful graphic that exhibits how a lot solar energy is being harvested.

Solar charging… up by 3 hours. Simpson Desert, Birdsville, QLD.

Suunto App

Built into the Suunto App is a ‘coach’. It doesn’t have to be hooked as much as another coaching app (though you may if that’s your bag), which let’s me understand how I’m doing. The mixture of the language used and design for this doesn’t translate into snarky or preachy – extra like a useful and inspiring buddy. Nice.

Customised exercise mode

When I’m in the course of a bushwalk, there’s a bunch of data that I discover useful to have at a look. I designed my excellent display shows that work for me. It’s simple to do with the Suunto app and means the dear actual property of the 49mm display isn’t wasted with reporting stuff you don’t want. Here’s a take a look at the display setup with my preferences.

What I reckon they might work on

Number of alarms

Apart from the dawn/sundown and a storm alarm (linked to the barometer), there seems to be just one different alarm within the menu you can set for both as soon as, weekdays or every day. No biggie, I’ll simply change my behavior and use my cellphone for a number of alarms in the identical day.

Auto pause throughout exercise

This characteristic prompts whenever you transfer lower than 2 km/hr throughout an exercise. For the sadists amongst us who relish off-track scrubby pursuits together with my favorite, wombatting, the place bodily taxing train is happening at lower than 2km/hr (I recall one heinous journey at 250m/hour), it doesn’t actually work for us. Maybe they need to add wombatting to the listing alongside impediment racing, curler snowboarding, Nordic strolling, paragliding, SUP or mermaiding (!), that are choices.

Hiking exercise shows tempo not velocity

Out of the field, I discovered that the Hiking exercise shows my velocity as tempo (minutes per km) as a substitute of velocity (km/hr). Again, not a biggie, it simply meant I wanted to arrange a customized exercise. 

I used to be offered this product for assessment functions. You should purchase my time to check, assessment and write – you may’t purchase my opinion.


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